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John Fashanu breaks silence on Gladiators reboot snub with jibe at Bradley Walsh and son Barney’s ‘lack of chemistry’

FORMER Gladiators host John Fashanu has broken his silence after being overlooked for the rebooted show.

The retired footballer, whose partnership with Ulrika Jonsson entertained the nation in the 90s, had hoped to be involved with the BBC series.

GettyJohn Fashanu admits he was upset not to be part of the rebooted Gladiators series[/caption]

BBCBradley Walsh and son Barney are hosting the new series[/caption]

But the call never came and instead bosses decided the programme would be fronted by Bradley Walsh and his son Barney.

Speaking to the Sun on behalf of, John, 61, said that while he doesn’t think nepotism is at play, he feels the pair need to work on bringing the ‘showbiz’ factor back as well as improving their chemistry with the Gladiators.

He said: “I noticed there’s no kidology. A little bit more laughing, a little bit more getting involved. I always used to have a fight with one of the Gladiators because it just jazzed the place up a little bit. It was great when Wolf gets you in a head lock, you believed you’re going to die in five minutes anyway.

“It’s important there’s a good response with the Gladiators, which I’m not seeing. I’m not saying it’s a complaint, I’m just saying it’s very different.”

Fash, who famously loved yelling catchphrase ‘awooga’ in the arena, thinks a similar gimmick would help bring the ‘missing’ showbiz factor back to the programme.

When it was announced that Bradley and Barney, who also front an ITV travel show together, were at the helm there cries of nepotism from some quarters.

So, was John amongst them?

He said: “It’s hard to accept you’ve got father and son taking over the show. I’m not saying its nepotism, no, I’m just saying it’s unusual to have someone so close to you on the show.

“We’re not getting the natural results of how people would normally go. I do feel that had we had maybe myself, maybe somebody else in there you would have got a little bit more of a natural response to what’s going on on the show.”

John is currently based in Nigeria where he’s working as a football coach.

He’d love to return for series two in some capacity, even if it’s a cameo role, however, he said he’s “not pushing it”.

John, who describes his time on Gladiators as a “dream come true”, doesn’t hide away the fact he was hurt not to receive a call from BBC bosses to reprise his hosting role.

He said: “Let me be very true and honest, I feel very sad that our Gladiators and our team, all of them, didn’t ask for me to come back again. I’d have loved to, and Ulrika would have loved to as well.

“Maybe they just wanted a change. Bradley, great, he’s handling it, there’s not a problem there, but the truth is Fash is sad, but it’s still going on and looking like a fantastic show.

“When you’ve done a big show like that, when you’re not doing it and you’re seeing somebody else you feel it somehow. Somehow you feel a bit bad about it.”

But when it comes to his former co-host, Fash only has happy memories and words of praise.

He said: “Ulrika is the type of lady even if you haven’t seen her for 10 years, when you do see her she’ll let you know that you’ve missed her for maybe one day.

“She’s a fantastic person, very different and very loving person, but very good. When she hits the set she’s brilliant. I’m very happy to work with her because she dragged me up and gave me a lift as well so it would be nice to work with her.”

News Group Newspapers LtdFash with Gladiators co-star Ulrika Jonsson[/caption]



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